United Media Being Sold to Iconix

E.W. Scripps Co. said Tuesday it will sell United Media for $175 million to Joe Boxer owner Iconix Brand Group Inc. The sale of United Media Licensing also means Iconix has a new partnership with the family of the late “Peanuts” creator, Charles Schulz. They’ll receive 20 percent ownership in the unit that owns “Peanuts” and pay that percentage of the sale price. United Media Licensing also represents other character brands such as Dilbert and Fancy Nancy, but the bulk of its licensing business comes from “Peanuts.”

In 2009, revenue of the unit fell 10 percent to nearly $92 million. That figure includes United Media’s syndication operations, which Scripps will still own, meaning it will still syndicate comic strips and editorial features.

Scripps said the cash deal will close by the end of the second quarter.

The Toy Book’s Toy Report 03/01/10

Catch up on last week’s news! Read The Toy Book Toy Report for 03/01/10.

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United Media and HarperCollins Partner for Goodnight Moon Licensing Program

United Media (UM) has signed on to develop and manage a licensing program for HarperCollins Children’s Goodnight Moon, the first licensing program for the classic bedtime story. UM also works with the publishing group on its property Fancy Nancy.

UM will develop a program that will target newborns, infants, and toddlers. The core products will include infant and preschool toys, gifts, apparel, accessories, domestics, and room décor.

Goodnight Moon, written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd, has sold over 20 million books to date, and has been translated into 12 languages.